Following the recent closure of Joffre Lakes Provincial Park by the Líl̓wat Nation and N’Quatqua, the provincial government has announced its decision to reopen the park just in time for the upcoming Labour Day weekend.
Earlier, the two First Nations had planned to reopen the park for public use on September 30th, the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. However, after discussions between the First Nations and the Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy, George Heyman, it has been decided that the park will open its gates to visitors from Friday through the end of the long weekend.
To ensure a balance between cultural activities and public access, there will be a reduction in the number of day use passes available. The park will also be inaccessible for a three-day period beginning on Tuesday, September 5th. This temporary closure will enable the stakeholders to devise an inclusive plan that respects cultural traditions and simultaneously ensures responsible and sustainable public access to the park.
Starting Thursday, August 31st at 7 am, day passes will be made available on a rolling basis until Monday. Additionally, all 29 backcountry spaces will be open for visitors from Friday, September 1st, with departures permitted until Monday, September 4th.
Minister Heyman emphasized that the ongoing discussions aim to find solutions that address the interests of all parties involved and facilitate the reconciliation of First Nations’ rights and title.
For more information on day passes and backcountry availability, interested visitors can visit BCParks.ca.
1. Why was Joffre Lakes Provincial Park closed?
Answer: The closure was initiated by the Líl̓wat Nation and N’Quatqua, who wanted to use the park for their harvest celebration.
2. When will the park reopen?
Answer: The park will reopen from Friday through the end of the Labour Day weekend.
3. Will there be any changes to public access?
Answer: Yes, there will be a reduction in the number of day use passes available, and the park will be temporarily closed for three days to allow for discussions and planning between stakeholders.
4. Can visitors still access the backcountry spaces?
Answer: Yes, all 29 backcountry spaces will be open for visitors during the Labour Day weekend.